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Local student-athletes balance schoolwork with part-time jobs through the coronavirus pandemic

While the coronavirus pandemic may have brought a premature end to the 2019-2020 school year and nixed spring sports altogether, student-athletes from across the Southern Maryland Athletic Conference have remained busy working various jobs.

Lackey High School junior Savannah McBain has been working a cumulative sum of full-time hours at two different jobs within close proximity to her home. McBain, who is graduating from Lackey one year early and plans to attend the College of Southern Maryland this fall to pursue a nursing degree and perhaps play soccer.

“I’ve been working a lot this semester,” said McBain, who works both jobs four days each week. “I was looking forward to playing softball, but I wasn’t really too much into the social aspect of school. I took a lot of honors and AP classes and I took one class last summer so that I could graduate early this year. But I’ve enjoyed working both jobs, although when I get a day off I like to sleep.”

Four days each week, McBain works the morning shift at one restaurant in La Plata then leaves there after the lunch rush around 2 p.m. to work the evening shift at another restaurant closer to home. At her first job, she has several tasks, including cooking and cashier, then is one of the waitresses at her second job and stays until closing time.

Northern High School junior Eddie Coffren Jr. already boasts one Class 3A boys state golf title as a sophomore and is gradually looking to finalize his plans for college after his senior year. But Coffren has also spent much of the spring semester working 30 to 35 hours each week at a hardware store in Calvert County and occasionally honing his golf skills at a course in Anne Arundel County.

“It’s actually been a really good experience,” Coffren said. “I get to interact with a lot of customers and the other employees. I really enjoy meeting people and talking with people. I spend most of the day in the store, but occasionally I can get outside helping customers load things in their cars and trucks. I’ve been able to work and still get my schoolwork done and get to the course a couple times.”

Leonardtown High School senior Katie Hayes has been working 20 to 30 hours each week for a female-owned defense contractor in La Plata, which has served a dual purpose for her. Hayes intends to work through much of the summer before heading to NCAA Division III Mary Baldwin University in Virginia to play soccer for the school for the next four years.

“I’ve been fortunate to be able to work for such a great company while school has been closed,” Hayes said. “Of course, it’s tough being away from all my friends and teammates the last semester of my senior year in school, but I love working there and I plan to work there for most of the summer. Mary Baldwin is going to open on schedule this summer and I’m really looking forward to going there.”

Following an alternate busy schedule throughout the spring semester nixed by the COVID-19 outbreak, McBain, Coffren and Hayes admit they would still like to maintain one previous tradition this summer: a family vacation.

“Normally each summer we go visit relatives in Staten Island (New York),” McBain said, “but I don’t think that is going to happen this summer with everything that’s happened. But when I get some time off I’d like to go kayaking and fishing.”

Hayes added: “This summer I think I will take a week off before I head to Mary Baldwin. We finally heard that we’re going to have two graduation ceremonies [May 28 and May 29] and I’m happy both my parents [Mark and Valerie Hayes] will be there when I get my diploma on May 28. It will be a little different than what they have done in the past, but I’m glad we get to have something.”

For Coffren, however, his vacation will consist of several golf tournaments.

“I need to get back playing [golf] on a regular basis and get ready for some tournaments this summer,” Coffren said. “I can’t wait to get back to playing on a regular basis.”

Twitter: @tblacksomds1

Twitter: @tblacksomds1